Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Accessing the Ribbon with Your Keyboard
Accessing the Ribbon with Your Keyboard
At first glance, you may think that the Ribbon is completely mouse-centric. After all, none of the
commands has the traditional underlined letter to indicate the Alt+keystrokes. In fact, the Ribbon
is very keyboard friendly. The trick is to press the Alt key (or forward slash key) to display the
pop-up keytips: Each Ribbon control has a letter (or series of letters) that you type to issue the
By the way, you don’t have to hold down the Alt key as you type the keytip letters.
Figure 13-1 shows how the Home tab looks after I press the Alt key to display the keytips. Each
tab has a corresponding letter, known as a keytip. If you press one of the keytips, the screen then
displays more keytips. For example, to use the keyboard to align the cell contents to the left,
press Alt followed by H (for Home) and then AL (for Align Left). If you’re a keyboard fan (like I
am), after just a few times you memorize the keystrokes required for common commands that
you use frequently.
Figure 13-1: Pressing Alt displays the keytips.
After you press Alt, you can also use the left- and right-arrow keys to scroll through the tabs.
When you reach the proper tab, press the down-arrow key to enter the Ribbon. Then use the
left- and right-arrow keys to scroll through the Ribbon commands. When you reach the
command you need, press Enter to execute it. This method isn’t as efficient as using keytips, but it’s
an easy, mouse-free way to take a quick look at the available commands.
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